Growing up, I was always in transit. A few days at my mom's house, then off to my dad's. A few days there, then back to my mom's. Repeat. Repeat. Thirteen years, repeat.
When I left for college, I reveled in the fact that I would be in the same place for the next four years. I'd have to juggle which family to visit when, but "home" would be one address, where I'd always come back to.
As V entered my life in a more and more permanent way, I began to see "home" as the place we were together, regardless of locale. That's a sweet sentiment, for sure--but it doesn't address the fact that there is still a very physical residence, or more than one, in my head.
We've been in this city for two and a half years, and we've loved it. It's been good to us, a place to test the waters of more urban living, a place full of kids and parks and museums and restaurants. But with V graduating in six months, we're starting to talk about our next place. I'm finding, to my great surprise, that I want there to be a next place.
Once I realized how much I loved it here, I decided I'd never move again. Move houses, sure, but as I came to know and love this city, I wanted to stay here. No more transit. No more learning curve. I'd finally feel settled, and know that nothing was going to uproot me in the future.
Except, apparently, now I want to uproot myself. V and I are starting to look for jobs for her, and in the process, we've inadvertently decided where we'd like to live. Still in the midwest, though a larger city, one where we already know people, and one that's always captured our imagination. The strangest thing is, I want this. I want to go.
I wonder if I've been "en route" so much of my life that it's how I function. I wonder if it's possible for me to settle into a place, really settle, and stay. It might be. But right now, that's not what I want. For the first time since I've been making these decisions for myself, I want to say goodbye to the kids and parks and museums and restaurants. I didn't think I'd want to--but I can't wait.
Perhaps it's just that I'm making the choice of my own volition (with V, of course, but she's an equal, not an authority). Perhaps I'm finally growing into myself, as an adult, as someone who directs her own life. Perhaps I will be always in transit, wife and kid(s) in tow, city-hopping. Nothing is inherently wrong with that. Nothing is inherently wrong in staying in this next city for twenty years, or ten, or two.
I don't know how long we'll be there. At this point, we don't even know if V will have a job, so we can't say for certain that we're moving. But wherever we go, I'm okay with the going. It's a strange feeling, though I'm not complaining.
I remember locking myself in my bedroom when I was twelve or thirteen, not wanting to go to my dad's, and my mother having to cajole me out. This time, I feel like I'm throwing myself at the car, eager for new adventures. Much of this comes from my newfound freedom, away from the kids...but more on that later.